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Mom Used Phone Location App To Track Down Murdered Daughter’s Body

A missing girl's body had been sexually assaulted, stabbed and left for dead.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

A mom used technology to help track her missing daughter. According to the Dallas News, 18-year-old Zoe Hastings went missing on October 11, 2015 and her parents began to worry. They tried to contact her and got no response. That's when they stayed up all night and learned how to track her location using the "Find My Phone" app on her phone. 

They followed the location and found the teen's body outside her family's minivan at a creek near her church. By then, authorities had arrived and the parents knew something was wrong. She had been sexually assaulted, stabbed and left for dead. According to authorities, the cause of death was "obvious homicidal violence." 

“They gave us the horrible news,” Cheryl Hastings, the victim's mother, remembers during the trial. According to cellphone data, Hastings left home at 4:41 p.m. and returned the movie at 4:42 p.m. By 5:01 p.m., she was at the location where her body was found. She was reportedly on her way to church.

Using DNA evidence from the murder weapon, authorities found that the suspect was 36-year-old Antonio Cochran. He is accused of kidnapping Hastings outside a pharmacy as she returned a Redbox movie and then killing her. A witness saw how the suspect came up to Hastings' car and described what appeared to be a calm discussion. He didn't think anything was wrong. '“Ok, wait, maybe this is just a boyfriend/girlfriend meeting up, or maybe having words,'” he thought. The witness says he didn't see Hastings yell nor did he see a weapon at the time. '“No — nothing. Honestly, no sir. Nothing. Nothing really too out of the ordinary.”'

Following his arrest, the Hastings family put out a statement, per People: “This family, as you can imagine, is grieving, but is also happy about the way this community came together because it is representative of the way that Zoe lived her life — a life that she lived for others, recognizing a power that was greater than herself.”

Cochran's trial began last week. He could face life in prison if he is found guilty in the teenager's death. Initially, authorities wanted to seek the death penalty in the case. That decision was reversed after it was discovered that the suspect has an intellectual disability (or an IQ under 70). 

[Photo: Facebook, Dallas County Sheriff's Dept]

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